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What's your hardest project ever!

by AJswoodshop
posted 09-11-2012 02:11 AM

27 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2700 days

#1 posted 09-11-2012 02:29 AM

Well, I don’t think of any project as difficult. I like figuring out the best way to do things. That is what I like to do. The actual build is just cutting and fitting. I have built a 10 drawer Acorn chest. It is 52 inches tall, 44 inches wide and 22 inches deep. It is like a big chest of drawers with 2 sets of side by side drawers. I used red oak. I dovetailed the drawers and used glue and joints to hold everything together. The only fasteners I used were to hold the plywood back in place. It was complicated but I started by drawing a set of plans so there wouldn’t be any slip ups.

View sedcokid's profile


2733 posts in 3623 days

#2 posted 09-11-2012 02:50 AM

Well, I guess the most time consuming project was my miter sled for the table saw. It wasn’t hard but it was the most time consuming because of the accuracy I demanded. I have used it numerous times and it is still right on the money.

Thanks for asking AJ, what was yours?

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3183 days

#3 posted 09-11-2012 02:57 AM

My kitchen cabinets. Been working on them for 2 years now.

-- jay,

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2273 days

#4 posted 09-11-2012 03:16 AM

My 3 axis horizontal router table. On my 3rd iteration. The first two were acceptable, I’am looking for perfection with this thing.


View Rob's profile


143 posts in 3955 days

#5 posted 09-11-2012 03:37 AM

I guess that depends on when in my woodworking history the project was made. Early on in the piece, I made a Shaker Chest of Drawers with 6 drawers. It was the first time i had to generate a cut list and work out ratios for the drawer sizes. That took some time. But I guess the most challenging of all was the making of 8 Red Gum dining chairs. I’d never made chairs before and it was my first attempt at full on mortise and tenon joints that weren’t going to fail. Its amazing how much confidence achieving something like this can give you.


View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2311 days

#6 posted 09-11-2012 03:37 AM

So far it’s turning out to be my wall mounted hand tool cabinet. Each tool requires a custom mount, and I keep coming up with “upgrades” that further complicate the project. It’s coming along, just slower than I originally anticipated.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4230 posts in 2586 days

#7 posted 09-11-2012 03:44 AM

The most hardest and diligent things I have made are the Boxes I make and give away for couples that have lost a child. I want them to have the Very Very best

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2461 days

#8 posted 09-11-2012 04:03 AM

Raising three daughters. ... oh, you mean woodworking? Building the house.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3306 days

#9 posted 09-11-2012 04:08 AM

Overcoming essential tremors that are getting progressively worse. I’m losing that battle and will pressure my doctor a little tomorrow at my annual check-up.

View oldnovice's profile


6898 posts in 3392 days

#10 posted 09-11-2012 04:09 AM

My next project is always the hardest! I haven’t decided what that will be and that is the hardest!

I have a new RA drug that has helped with the joint pain but it has sure decreased my energy level which, according to the doctor, will improve after about 6 months. It, like most drugs, has some really bad side effects but not joint pain is worth it …. so far!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2959 days

#11 posted 09-11-2012 04:47 AM

I agree with oldnovice.

Every project offers new challanges.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View knotscott's profile


8056 posts in 3400 days

#12 posted 09-11-2012 06:14 AM

My first guitar build was a bit over my head and took me a while to figure out…I don’t play, which didn’t help. It was the most challenging, but also the most rewarding.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2333 days

#13 posted 09-11-2012 10:04 AM

7,000 sf log home no wait the 5,400 sf log home. No no no it was the house that after the crane left we noticed one of the center trusses was in backwards. Every project has it’s own challenge. Finding the way to solve it and seeing the finished job will bring you pleasure.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View rejo55's profile


190 posts in 2267 days

#14 posted 09-11-2012 10:49 AM

Same as Muleskinner, except it was five daughters and a landscape timber house, and I had done neither before. In fact, the house was the first thing I had ever built out of wood.
Have a good’un

-- rejo55, East Texas

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2301 days

#15 posted 09-11-2012 03:14 PM

I think my hardest project was the bathroom repair.


View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2539 days

#16 posted 09-11-2012 03:18 PM

Restoring an 1896 ten room farmhouse, including putting in closets, doing all the wiring over, adding my shop, refinishing most floors, doors, railings, stairs, it was endless for 2.5 years.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5972 posts in 3378 days

#17 posted 09-11-2012 03:24 PM

I would have to say the two Gazebos I built back in the 80’s were my biggest challenge’s. 8 sides, many compound miter cuts. Angles in so many directions. But I came out so nice! This is the one I built for our yard and I also built one for a friend. All I had was a photograph to go by, no plans at all. You can’t see it but there is seating the also has a ton of compound miters in it.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18288 posts in 3700 days

#18 posted 09-11-2012 06:44 PM

Full stock Kentucky rifle

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2709 days

#19 posted 09-11-2012 07:00 PM

arrived home one day to find #1- 2 cherry floor boards 13” wide 12’ long #2-a chestnut beam probably 10”x10” 14’ long…these all came out of a farmhouse renovation and are still waiting for a project (I figure the cherry boards will make a nice bartop…the chestnut beam needs to find a sawmill and I think will make a very interesting blanket chest).

so now to #3…

a piece of cherry beam, twisted, checked…worked and worked with every tool I owned…I got 4 of those little desktop valets and a small mission style table for my efforts. but as a plus, I made sure the floor and tools were surgically clean…all the scrap has found its way to the smoker (in fact I have people searching the planet for cherry shavings now).

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3571 posts in 2276 days

#20 posted 09-11-2012 07:02 PM

Great question, AJ. My judgement is that you are wise beyond your years. That you even asked this question speaks well of you.

My toughest projects are the ones in which I am learning a new skill. I don’t consider myself nearly as advanced a woodworker as many of our fellow LJs, so most of my projects don’t involve advanced skills. My most challenging project so far was my workbench. It helped me to have a clear idea of the design before I got started (that’s the engineer in me). While I’m happy with the way it came out, I will do some things differently for the next one.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2328 days

#21 posted 09-11-2012 07:03 PM

wow my challenge is not that complicated compared to others, but right now I am building an entry way table and I am putting Blind secret dovetail mitered joints on it and I am cutting them by hand, it’s fun though!

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4230 posts in 2586 days

#22 posted 09-11-2012 07:13 PM

Upon reflection I thing the hardest thing is a persons very first project. Do not know really what to do or expect or how to fix what is wrong.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2679 days

#23 posted 09-11-2012 10:15 PM

This was one of my more challenging projects.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 2165 days

#24 posted 09-12-2012 01:43 AM

I completely remodeled our house, LOTS of trim work, all new windows, doors, baseboard, crown molding, two new bathrooms, and 1680 square feet of hardwood floor to refinish. I’ve been thinking I should snap some pictures around here and post it as a project. There was so much custom woodwork that needed done I can’t imagine what it would have cost me to hire it done. I’m glad I did it once, but I’ll never do it again. My next big project is going to be a cedar strip canoe or kayak this winter.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3165 posts in 3134 days

#25 posted 09-12-2012 02:14 AM

I put an addition on my last house. 650 square feet. I dug the foundation trench, made the forms, hung the rebar, (payed for the concrete to be pumped) framed up the floor, ceiling and walls, ran the plumbing and wiring, and put up the drywall. I ended up having the stucco done as a contracted item, because that was WAY too much work. I’ve paid for similar work since (because I was traveling a lot for my job, and the wife is really impatient), but I am convinced that my work is better, based on watching other people work in my house. I CARE about how it comes out, and the contractor’s guys just want it done/over/whatever, usually. The contractor I worked for in the past had nothing to do with that kind of help. I had no trouble with inspectors when I worked construction! I was way pickier than they would ever be- my family lives there.

I also drew up the plans, and got them through the city inspectors. It was a lot of work, and took me almost two years of vacations, evenings after work, and holidays. I would NOT do it again. But then, I’m going to be 60 in a couple of weeks. The amount of energy you have now is boundless. Get ‘er done now.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View BigYin's profile


418 posts in 2441 days

#26 posted 09-12-2012 03:28 AM

Keeping women happy, after that cutting dovetails is easy….

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View sras's profile


4811 posts in 3154 days

#27 posted 09-12-2012 05:22 AM

Cedar strip kayak. Five years from start to launch. Had to let it sit untouched for several months.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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